This Exclusive Study Reveals Entrepreneurs Really Do Have Thicker Skins Business people really do see the world differently.

By Jason Feifer

Shutterstock

Entrepreneurs, perhaps more than anyone else, love to talk about their mistakes. They've been conditioned to see failure as a learning experience -- that, rather than being the end of something, a big flop is merely a very useful (though painful) data point along the way to success. And so we wondered: Just how different is an entrepreneur's perspective?

We partnered with the polling company Ipsos to find out. Ipsos reached out to 1,007 people in August, asked if they consider themselves entrepreneurs, and then had them react to a series of business challenges. The results: Entrepreneurs have statistically thicker skins.

In one question, we presented people with a series of challenges -- from having to close stores to laying people off -- and asked if they considered it a failure. The responses:

People who said, "No, this is not a failure."

In another question, we presented a series of challenges and asked, "Is this a major challenge in starting a business?" The responses:

People who said, "No, this is not a major challenge."

In both questions, the results were nearly unanimous: When presented with what seems like a challenging circumstance, entrepreneurs were less likely to see that problem as limiting. The one exception, curiously, was managing staff; non-entrepreneurs considered that less challenging than entrepreneurs did (by one percentage point). Perhaps it speaks to something all entrepreneurs know: Managing other people is really, really hard.

We also asked people what the best response to business failure is. The reaction was interesting.

Answer #1: "Do an improved version of the same thing"

Entrepreneurs: 32%

Non-entrepreneurs: 25%

Answer #2: "Do something new"

Entrepreneurs: 32%

Non-entrepreneurs: 42%

So what does that tell us? We'll take a guess: Entrepreneurs are stubborn. And unlike the rest of the world, they don't walk away easily.

Jason Feifer

Entrepreneur Staff

Editor in Chief

Jason Feifer is the editor in chief of Entrepreneur magazine and host of the podcast Problem Solvers. Outside of Entrepreneur, he is the author of the book Build For Tomorrow, which helps readers find new opportunities in times of change, and co-hosts the podcast Help Wanted, where he helps solve listeners' work problems. He also writes a newsletter called One Thing Better, which each week gives you one better way to build a career or company you love.

Editor's Pick

Related Topics

Living

Don't Miss This Sam's Club Membership Deal for Just $20

Your last chance for a great deal on a membership that helps you save money all year long.

Devices

This $126 Apple- and Android-Compatible Display Can Help You Drive Safer

Adding this display will elevate your older model car for an affordable price.

Business Ideas

55 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2023

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2023.

Data & Recovery

This Cyber Week Exclusive Gets You 1TB of Cloud Storage for $120

If you're looking for a reliable cloud storage solution, look no further than Koofr.

Business News

McDonald's Is Making a Major Change to Its Burgers in 2024

The beloved Big Mac will also be getting a big makeover.